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03BRUSSELS5593 2003-12-11 14:50:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Brussels
Cable title:  

A/S ROCCA CONSULTATIONS ON SOUTH ASIA WITH EU

Tags:   PREL EAID PTER AF PK IN CE NP XD EUN USEU BRUSSELS 
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 BRUSSELS 005593 

SIPDIS

DEPT. FOR SA, EUR/ERA
PLEASE PASS USAID FOR ANE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/10/2013
TAGS: PREL EAID PTER AF PK IN CE NP XD EUN USEU BRUSSELS
SUBJECT: A/S ROCCA CONSULTATIONS ON SOUTH ASIA WITH EU
COMMISSION

Classified By: USEU Poloff Van Reidhead for reasons 1.5 (b) and (d)


-------
Summary
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1. (C) On December 8 in Brussels, SA A/S Christina Rocca met
with EU counterparts at the European Commission to discuss
ongoing developments in South Asia (participants listed para
11).

--On Afghanistan, interlocutors said at this time they could
identify only euros 20 million in available Commission and EU
member state funds to assist the 2004 elections. The U.S.
and EU should consider holding a donors' coordination meeting
on the margins of the ADF early in 2004

--The EU is encouraged by recent steps toward normalizing
India-Pakistan relations. Interlocutors agreed the next best
step would be a Musharraf-Vajpayee meeting, and that it would
be important to encourage a positive outcome of the SAARC
meetings.

--The EU denied the existence of a split between U.S. and EU
positions on Nepal, and promised to correct the problem that
caused the Commission's Kathmandu delegation to release a
statement on human rights without consulting the U.S.

--On Sri Lanka, the EU stated that time is running out for
Colombo to get its house in order so that peace talks can
resume.



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Afghanistan: Ramping Up for Elections


--------------------------





2. (C) A/S Rocca opened the meeting with an assessment of
continuing international efforts to enhance security and
accelerate reconstruction and development in Afghanistan.
She delivered a strong message that the donor community was
coming up short on its commitment to fund the June 2004
elections. Donors need to demonstrate their commitment to
Afghan democracy, she said, by finding a way to adequately
fund the 2004 elections. The U.S. has committed USD 15
million to the election process, but UNAMA's estimated
funding requirements for registration and polling would be
around USD 78 million and USD 40 million, respectively.
European Commission (EC) interlocutors, led by Deputy
Director General for External Relations Herve Jouanjean, said
that the EU put the figures needed for elections at euros 70
million for registration and euros 20 million for polling.
In either case, they said, a straw poll of EC and member
state pledges shows only euros 20 million available for
elections. The cost would go up if there were ultimately two
rounds of elections. EC staff suggested that one idea might
be to use funds in the ARTF recurrent budget -- although EC
Asia Director Fokion Fotiadis urged caution and said that
such a maneuver should be considered only as a last resort.



3. (C) Jouanjean and EC External Relations Cabinet member
Barbara Brandtner recommended that it might be a good idea to
hold a donors' coordination meeting on the margins of the ADF
early in 2004 (note: this was first discussed with the
Secretary during his November 18 meeting with the EU Troika

SIPDIS
in Brussels). Donors could use the opportunity to coordinate
pre-election support and discuss ways to bring forward
multi-year reconstruction pledges. Fotiadis noted that the
World Bank would be releasing its needs assessment around the
same time. We should be careful, he said, to ensure that any
coordination meeting does not coincide with the report's
release, because the report is sure to highlight the
inadequate level of overall international support for Afghan
reconstruction.



4. (C) A/S Rocca described how the USG envisions spending the
USD 50 million authorized by Congress for FY 2004
counternarcotics programs in Afghanistan. Rocca's
interlocutors said the EU, which has become increasingly
alarmed at the rapid increase in Afghan poppy production, was
very grateful for Congress' decision to provide such a sum.



5. (C) On PRT deployments, A/S Rocca conveyed U.S. plans for
fielding new PRTs in the southeast concurrent with Karzai
taking steps to improve central authority in that region. At
the same time, the U.S. will step up its cooperation with
Pakistan to clamp down on cross-border Taliban incursions in
the region. A/S Rocca encouraged the EU and member states to
continue their support for PRTs. The EC staffers agreed that
increasing security and central authority in the southeast
was a critical next step for Afghanistan. EU member states
were continuing to evaluate possible PRT contributions, and
the EC regularly tells NGOs that they should do a better job
working with, not against, PRTs. They noted that the EC
would be briefing CARE on December 9 to explain the need for
greater NGO-PRT coordination.


6. (C) The EC reiterated Commissioner Patten's November 18
statement to the Secretary that the EC prefers presidential
and parliamentary elections to be held simultaneously, as
envisioned in the Bonn process. This would give more
credibility to the outcome. A/S Rocca agreed that it was
preferable to adhere as much as possible to the Bonn
timetable but that the Constitution might provide some
breathing space with respect to the parliamentary elections.



--------------------------


India-Pakistan: Encouraging the Thaw


--------------------------





7. (C) Jouanjean said that the EU's November 29 summit with
India had been very productive (joint EU-India communique
available at http://europa.eu.int/comm/
external relations/india/intro/index.htm). The EU sensed a
new Indian optimism and confidence in the future. The EU is
worried, however, that India is not paying enough attention
to the economic and developmental inequities that will
increase between Indian states as India continues its
developmental ascension. Reflecting the new confidence,
Jouanjean said the Indians were more moderate than ever about
Pakistan. There was no "Pak-bashing" as in the past, he
said. The Indians, including PM Vajpayee, were "softer and
more open" than before. (Note: The EU will hold a
Ministerial with Pakistan the first week of February 2004.)



8. (C) A/S Rocca said the U.S. and EU should keep pushing for
progress on normalizing India-Pakistan relations. We should
keep up the pressure and provide positive reinforcement for
the positive steps being taken. Jouanjean said the EC
agreed, and would do what it could to support a
Vajpayee-Musharraf meeting on the margins of the regional
summit in Islamabad next month. A/S Rocca stressed that it
would be important to get both sides to prepare carefully for
the SAARC summit and any possible bilateral meeting so that
the outcome is positive and will lead to continuing thaw
between the two countries.



--------------------------


Nepal: Singing from the Same Sheet


--------------------------





9. (C) A/S Rocca conveyed growing U.S. concern over the
apparently irreconcilable differences between the King and
the political parties. Nepal was at risk of heading the way
of failed states; in order to prevent that, it would be
necessary for the U.S., EU, India and other involved parties
to coordinate very closely on preventing further
deterioration. Rocca expressed concern that the EU was
drifting from the U.S. position on Nepal, and cited the
recent EU statement on human rights that was released without
prior U.S. consultations. It would be extremely dangerous
for the Maoists and other spoilers to see any daylight
between U.S. and EU positions. The EC interlocutors reacted
with surprise, and denied the emergence of a gap between U.S.
and EU positions. Jouanjean apologized for the oversight of
its delegation in Katmandu, which released the statement.
The EC was unaware that the delegation had not consulted with
the U.S. Embassy. Jouanjean promised to backtrack the error
with the EC delegation and the German Ambassador, who
represents the EU Presidency's interests in Kathmandu, to
ensure it doesn't happen again. Interlocutors agreed with
Rocca that it was important that the Maoists not see any
exploitable daylight between US and EU positions. Rocca
agreed that we should consider a suggestion made by Fotiadis
that engaged parties convene an international conference to
stress a united message on Nepal.



--------------------------


Sri Lanka: No Time to Lose


--------------------------





10. (C) A/S Rocca stressed that the LTTE must not be treated
as co-equal with the GOSL. The one is a designated terrorist
group while the other is a legitimate, if divided,
government. Rocca's interlocutors listened politely, but
avoided a discussion that would force them to defend
Commissioner Patten's recent visit to the LTTE's northern
headquarters to meet with LTTE commander Probakharan. Rocca
and the EC agreed that for the peace process to be
successful, the President and PM would need to move fast to
resolve their stalemate.


--------------------------


Participants


--------------------------





11. (U) U.S. Participants:
A/S Christina Rocca
USEU Development Counselor Patricia Lerner
USEU Poloff Van Reidhead (notetaker)

EU Participants:
EC External Relations Deputy Director General Herve Jouanjean
EC External Relations Cabinet Member Barbara Brandtner
EC External Relations Asia Director Fokion Fotiades
EC External Relations Asia Head of Unit Julian Wilson
EC External Relations Asia Head of Unit Laurence
Argimon-Pangratis



12. (U) Kabul minimize considered.



13. (U) A/S Rocca has cleared this message.

Foster